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HOW TO SELL ANYTHING

Get Inside a Customer's Head

A simple method for seeing the world (and you as a vendor) from the customer's perspective.
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As most of my readers already know, I critique sales messages as a free service for readers of my free weekly newsletter

Every day, I get several sales message examples, almost all of which are like this:

  • I am writing because...
  • My company is...
  • Our products are...
  • For more information, see....
  • If you have any questions, contact me...
  • I look forward to hearing from you.

As I've pointed out before, there's a huge problem with these messages: they are all about YOU.  When you send this kind of marketing message, what the customer sees is

  • Me
  • Me
  • Me
  • Me
  • Me
  • Me

It's like listening to some bore at a party who goes on and on about himself and then says:  "But enough about me; let's talk about what YOU think about me!"

Get Inside Your Customer's Head

Unless a customer contact is a professional buyer whose specific job is to select between commodity vendors, your customers are only interested in two things: 1) themselves, and 2) their own customers.  Mostly themselves.

So stop talking about yourself.  Stop asking customers to figure out how your offering fits into their world.  Stop pretending you're so fascinating that customers will beat a path to your door.

Instead, use your imagination to see the world from the customer's perspective.  Here's how:

  1. Imagine that you look like the customer: same height, same weight, same complexion, same gender. (Hint: check out his or her LinkedIn photo.)
  2. Imagine that you have the exact same background: same education, same companies, same experience. (Hint: LinkedIn again.)
  3. Imagine you must deal with the same challenges: the same customers, the same colleagues, the same vendors, the same bosses.
  4. Finally, from that perspective, ask yourself:
    • What benefits would I get from buying what that person (you) are selling?
    • Why is that person the right person to buy from, rather than somebody else?
    • Why is this the right time to buy from that person, rather than later or never?

Write down your answers and use them to craft your sales message.  It's really that simple.

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IMAGE: jope1978/Flickr
Last updated: Oct 30, 2013

GEOFFREY JAMES

Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed more than a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.




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